Benton A&P in great shape, according to city aldermen
Benton Alderman Steve Lee was appointed as the council’s liaison to the A&P Commission during Monday night’s city council meeting. Prior to his resignation from the council, former Alderman Kerry Murphy held the position.
In addition to Lee’s appointment, Alderman Frank Baptist briefed the council on the successes of the Benton A&P Commission and the Benton Event Center.
“The A&P has shown an increase of 9 percent over June of 2018,” Baptist said. “
The commission also recently voted to establish a reserve fund in the form of a $190,000 12-month CD.
Baptist also touched on the success of the Benton Event Center, noting that 6,585 people visited the center for a number of events in the last month alone.
“(Benton Area Chamber of Commerce President/ceo) Gary James reported the net income from the event center for January to July is $142,616.29,” Baptist said.
The council also approved the appointment of Steve Brown to the Ward 1 alderman position to replace Murphy.
The aldermen also authorized the city attorney to file lawsuits to abate public nuisances at four properties inside the Benton city limits.
Those properties include:
•619 Gertrude - S. River Investment.
•2219 S. Neeley - Kimberly Brooks.
•2303 S. Neeley - Kimberly Brooks.
•404 Second Street - Mark
Other items approved by the council include:
•An ordinance accepting sale proceeds from auctioned items for the Benton Police Department and authorizing the purchase of police vehicles.
•A resolution authorizing the mayor and police chief to apply for grant funding through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program in order to purchase new computers for the BNPD.
•An ordinance authorizing the purchase of additional equipment for the Benton Fire Department.
•An ordinance transferring money from the general fund to the animal control fund.
•An ordinance authorizing an early principal payment on the Alcoa Road loan.
•An ordinance accepting grant funds from the AARP for the design and purchase of artistic crosswalks and signage in the downtown area.
•An ordinance annexing territory at Exit 114.
•A resolution authorizing the city of Benton to enter into a contract with the Central Arkansas Development Council for space at the Benton Senior Wellness and Activity Center.
While the council was considering the CADC contract, Benton resident Patrica Ashley asked to address the council. Although not related to the issue the alderman were considering, Ashley requested that the council pass a resolution recognizing the history of the Africanamerican community in the city.
“We have an Africanamerican community in Benton,” Ashely said. “It’s been here since 1904. Property was purchased. In 1907, it was platted and it’s a thriving community. It still stands. It’s a community of families that have children and grandchildren and it’s been established.”
Ashley said she would like to commemorate the Africanamerican community in the celebrations of the city.
“I would also like to see the neighborhood not referred to as a bad part of town,” Ashley said.
Benton Mayor Tom Farmer thanked Ashley for her comments.
All meetings are open to the public and attendance is encouraged.